It’s amazing how one ridiculous evening with your out of control toddler can make you feel like you have absolutely no idea what you are doing with this whole parenting thing. Nothing makes you feel more like an inadequate parent than a 2 year old having one meltdown after another. For the most part, Tyler is a really good kid but he is 2 and a product of Jim and myself, which means he is stubborn, hard headed and has a bit of a temper. So occasionally, when he is tired or crabby, he can be very challenging. Last night was an especially challenging evening, combined with the fact that sleep has been hard to come by lately, I had reached my limit. Every time I reach that point, I think about how much harder it would be to have had a child as a teenager. At least at 28 I had an idea what I was getting into. That’s not even true, I had no idea what I was getting into but I think being a little older makes you more prepared to handle it. Plus, being in a strong relationship and being more financially stable sure makes it easier.
I was watchIng Teen Mom 2 today, it’s one of those shows I DVR to watch while I fold laundry. It always makes me laugh because it claims to portray what it is like to be a teen mom and discourage teen pregnancies. Yet every person on that show has a brand new car, a house of their own, and not many of them have jobs. Almost all of them have family around so they can hangout with their friends or take weekend vacations child free. It absolutely kills me. Most parents, no matter how ready you are to have a child, don’t have it that easy. It reminds me of when I was in 8th grade and we did the “bag of flour” project. Where you carry around a bag of flour for a week and pretend it’s your baby. I’m not really sure what the point of that project was. It taught you about as much about having a baby as remembering to bring your math notebook to school everyday. In fact, I’m pretty sure I forgot my flour baby one morning and had to call my mom to bring it to me. I hope that doesn’t say to much about the kind of parent I am today.
I’m not sure there is anything that can prepare you for having a child. I think I was equally as surprised by the challenges of parenting as I was about the joys. It’s one of the only times complete aggravation, exhaustion and frustration can be wiped away with some snuggles and a sweet smile from your little one. As hard as it is some days the rewards are so much greater.
Tyler is getting big so fast and I know someday I will miss this age but it’s hard right now to imagine missing being woken up every day at 5:30, power struggles, temper tantrums and time outs. Watching him learn new things, playing, being silly with him and those sweet snuggles, they make it worth it, almost all of it. 😉
On a side note, if anyone has a teenager they would like to teach about how it really is to be a parent, feel free to send them to my house around 5:30am.